Power of the Primes Rippersnapper

Terrorcon #2 has arrived at Junkion HQ!

Rippersnapper on card

The Card

Rippersnapper card front

My version of Rippersnapper came with a card for Leige Maximo.

Rippersnapper card back

The Robot

This is a fantastic update of the original G1 version.

Rippersnapper robot mode

Armor mode – ready for anything.

Rippersnapper robot mode with armor

Beast Mode

The beast mode is also a good update but the tail feels a little odd as if it has just been tacked on.

Rippersnapper beast mode

Since the beast and the robot both share the same chest the combiner hand can be mounted as chest armor on both.

Rippersnapper beast mode with armorBlue belly beast

One fun thing about this figure is how his head is located in beast mode which gives him a special “cosplay” mode.

Rippersnapper cosplay mode

Prime Master Integration

Here’s Leige Maximo Rippersnapper “shredding his enemies with a tidal wave of insults” per the included card.

Leige Maximo Rippersnapper

Terrorcons

Slowly putting Abominus together…

Rippersnapper combiner mode

BadCube OTS-01 Huff v2

BadCube OTS-01 Huff v2

I have to be honest, I ordered BadCube’s OTS-01 Huff (aka Masterpiece Huffer) just to see if it was any good. I fully expected to like it less than their Brawny, since that was a newer design. But, in hand, I love Huff! The transformation is simpler but just as effective!

The Box

Huff box

The box is primarily two colors based on the toy inside.

Huff box contents

After writing “Like every other Masterpiece, Brawny includes a special accessory to recreate that one moment from the cartoon” in my Brawny review I have to take those words back since this Masterpiece does not have one. BadCube, if you’re reading this: next reissue, you need to include a tiny version of Lorry that fits into the cab so that we can recreate the single most brain-bending scale issue of the entire series.

The Figure

Huff robot mode

One obvious flaw with this figure is that the paint on the die-cast parts is several shades darker than the orange plastic used on the rest of the figure.

Huff side view

So, that’s where the truck goes.

Huff fully armed

The Truck

Huff vehicle mode

Much longer than the original but still clearly Huffer.

Huff weapon storage

Huff’s small pistol stores between his knees in vehicle mode, presumably to “leave room for the Holy Spirit“.

The Masterpiece

Huff Masterpiece robot mode(Autobot symbols sold separately)

Bumblebee is finally getting some backup.

Huff Masterpiece vehicle mode(Autobot symbols sold separately)

The Conclusion

Huff & Brawny ready for trouble(Autobot symbols sold separately)

This is my second BadCube figure and #3 is already on the way.

UPDATE: 360 Degree Turnaround

BadCube OTS-02 Brawny v2

BadCube OTS-02 Brawny v2

I recently decided to stop waiting for official masterpiece mini-bots and start filling out the ranks with third-party equivalents. At first, I assumed that I had missed out on BadCube’s Brawny (aka Masterpiece Brawn) since the reissue was sold out everywhere. Fortunately for me, one appeared very briefly on Big Bad Toy Store while I was poking around so I grabbed it.

The Box

BadCube Brawny box

The box is a bit plain compared to some of the other third party releases but does emulate the color scheme of the figure inside which is nice.

Brawny box contents

What really matters is what’s inside the box: Since this is the second edition, it includes some bonus parts originally available only in BadCube’s Quint Journal accessory pack (on the left side of the photo) including a large cannon with roof mount, welder arm attachment and a G2-worthy rage face.

Brawny spare face

The Figure

Brawny robot mode

The robot mode is very faithful to the original cartoon with both the vehicle cabin backpack and hood sticking up behind his head.

Brawny side view

Brawny is no slouch in the weapons department with both a pistol and cannon.

Brawny fully armedFully armed and dangerous!

Like every other Masterpiece, Brawny includes a special accessory to recreate that one moment from the cartoon.

Brawny welder armWelder arm, only for use on sinking oil rigs

The Land Rover

Brawny vehicle mode

Like the original G1 toy, Brawny is a modified Land Rover with a grill borrowed from a Jeep.

Brawny - Jeep grill

Brawny’s small pistol stores inside the fuel can that mounts on the back of the vehicle mode. This is probably the only “complaint” that I have, you cannot mount the fuel can without the pistol since that is what holds it together. Due to the “hinge” detail, you need to assemble the fuel can in the correct order, starting with the top half, labeled “L” which snaps onto the post on the front of the folded pistol then the bottom “R” part onto the back post.

Brawny pistol storage

Here he is fully tricked out with all of the vehicle mode accessories.

Brawny vehicle mode tricked out

The Masterpiece

Masterpiece Mini-bots(Autobot symbol sold separately)

Brawny fits in well with other Masterpiece-styled figures and gets me one step closer to finishing off the 1984 team.

Brawny with Bumblebee(Autobot symbol sold separately)

The Conclusion

Brawny Superman poseBrawny, the quicker picker-upper!

This is my first BadCube product but it won’t be my last. In fact, Huff (aka Masterpiece Huffer) is already here. After that the only one of their mini-bots that I won’t be considering is Wardog (aka Masterpiece Warpath) which just doesn’t work for me aesthetically.

UPDATE: 360 Degree Turnaround

Power of the Primes Blackwing

The second half of Dreadwing has arrived at Junkion HQ! Now Dreadwind won’t be lonely anymore.

Blackwing on card

The Card

Blackwing card front

My version of Blackwing came with a card for Megatronus Blackwing.

Megatronus Blackwing: Accelerates the extinction cycle of entire planets.

The Robot

The robot mode is very close to the original and is very clearly “Darkwing” despite the copyright-inspired renaming.

Blackwing robot mode

As with Dreadwind, the armor mode is a bit awkward.

Blackwing with armor

The Jet

Blackwing is a remold of Combiner Wars Air Raid, which is a close match to the original.

Blackwing jet mode

The Powermaster

Like with Dreadwind, the combiner hand can be used to replicate the G1 Powermaster feature.

Blackwing powermaster

Prime Master Integration

While I still don’t like the chest armor, it does look a little better with a Prime Master in place of the included plug.

Blackwing with Prime Master

Dreadwing

Like the originals, the PotP versions can combine into a super jet mode. It’s not terribly stable since the two are held together by a single post. One interesting thing to note is that the instructions label this combination as Duocon Dreadwing.

Dreadwing

The Combiner Limb

Like the other Deluxes in this line, Blackwing can also become a combiner limb.

Blackwing combinedThe instructions say he goes with Hun-Gurrr but I’m not buying that. I just wish we had two more jets in the line to complete a Super-Seeker gestalt.

Blackwing arm mode

Power Masters United

Blackwing with Dreadwind

One nice feature of the cover plates that these two come with is that they match closely with Titans Return Overlord and make passable stand-ins for the missing Giga and Mega.

Overlord with cover plates

ACE-02 Hiccups

ACE-02 Hiccups

Today’s post is a Clearance Catch: ACE-02 Hiccups, aka Masterpiece Hubcap.

Hiccups with Bumblebee

There are some figures that catch your eye but not quite enough to convince you to part with the cash required to click the “buy” button. Hiccups was one of those for me. I wasn’t too interested in their first figure ACE-01 Tumbler (aka MP Cliffjumper) mainly due to the head which seemed a bit “off” to me. Some of that disinterest may have colored my opinion of Hiccups even though I never had a problem with his head design. But now that the price has dropped to half of the original it seemed like a safer risk.

The Box

Hiccups box

The box includes full-color art that can be placed beside Tumbler’s box to make a larger scene.

About HICCUPS: He is always listening. A consummate manipulator and con-man. HICCUPS is friendly with everyone but nobody's friend. He's a fun guy to be around, but don't let your guard down, there's no telling what he's up to. Approach with caution.

The back of the box features a quick bio for the Hiccups character.

Hiccups box contents

Unlike Tumbler he does not include any Kryten-esqe spare heads and instead has a nozzle called Roscoe that can be attached to the end of the figure’s arm.

Hiccups nozzle

He does include Cliffjumper’s “Shatter Cannon” Bazooka from More Than Meets The Eye and the standard Autobot blaster from later episodes.

Hiccups bazooka

The Instructions

The instructions are a weird hybrid that shows both ACE-01 Tumbler and Hiccups in a split view. Although the Roscoe nozzle is shown on both sides of the instructions it was only included with Hiccups. The instructions also show an “alts head” for Hiccups that is the head that came installed on the figure. The head shown attached in the instructions has a narrower silver crest and is not included in the box.

Hiccups instructions

The steps on the back of the instructions start at the bottom of the page and move upwards.

Hiccups instructions back

The Display

One really nice thing about the ACE figures is that they come packaged in a display case.

Hiccups in display caseI’m special!

The bottom of the case can also be used as a display base complete with a flight stand. The stand can be attached two ways, I’ve set up the photo below with the stand hooked up for the most height.

Hiccups flight stand

There is also a spot on the bottom of the base where you can store the display stand when not in use.

Hiccups display base storage

The Figure

Hiccups robot mode

Many fans find the short arms to be a big issue with this figure. As you can see below, they are noticeably shorter than Bumblebee’s even though Hiccups is half a head taller.

Hiccups' arms compared to Bumble

The Porsche

No penny-racer here, Hiccup’s alt mode is a fairly accurate representation of the Porsche 924 that inspired the original deformed vehicle mode with the exception of the air scoop that should be on the hood. The biggest drawback of the vehicle mode are the front wheels: like Bumblebee, they do not lock into place nor is there anything behind them to hold them in place. Unlike Bumblebee, the hinge is a bit loose making it much easier to accidentally nudge them under the hood.

Hiccups vehicle mode

Like the main Masterpiece line, ACE is using the robot mode to set the scale of this figure so the vehicle mode looks very small next to a full-sized Autobot car.

Hiccups vehicle size comparison

The Conclusion

Although I like the idea, the die-cast feet really do not work for this figure. The extra weight in the feet makes the figure’s legs feel very floppy when handling and makes dynamic posing extremely difficult, especially when on the flight stand.

This figure is OK as a display piece and, once properly badged, will have a place as my official Masterpiece Hubcap.

Hiccups on stand

As of this writing, the figure is in stock at:

Power of the Primes Hun-Gurrr

The Terrorcon Leader has arrived at Junkion HQ!

The Card

Hun-Gurrr card front

My version of Hun-Gurrr came with a card for Prima Hun-Gurrr.

Hun-Gurrr card back

The Robot

Hun-Gurrr robot mode

I have to say that I don’t like the pseudo-rubsign on his left shoulder which gives the figure a lop-sided look as if they mistakenly put on the wrong sticker. I would have preferred if they just went one way or the other: either a real rubsign or matching symbol.

Hun-Gurrr arm blasters

The combiner feet actually make passable arm blasters.

The Beast

The dragon is probably the weakest mode due to the extremely small front legs and large purple belly. Still, it’s hard not to love a two headed dragon!

Hun-Gurrr beast mode

The Combiner Torso

Hun-Gurrr is also the core of Abominus, the only original G1 combiner to continue the Combiner Wars Voyager/Deluxe theme in this line. Sadly, I’ll have to wait for the third wave of deluxes to complete this picture.

Hun-Gurrr torso mode

The Enigma of Combination is nicely position in the combiner’s chest.

Hun-Gurrr Enigma of Combination

Power of the Primes Optimus Prime

Power of the Primes Optimus Prime

Wave one of the Power of the Primes Leader Class figures has arrived at Junkion HQ.

The Card

Optimus Prime card

My version came with a card for the Onyx Prime combination.

Optimus Prime card back

The Truck

Orion Pax cab mode

The cab is a great disappointment, with weird proportions and awkward kibble.

Optimus Prime alt mode side view
The trailer is a bit better, although the front and top look more like what one would expect from a Powermaster version than a classic G1 Optimus. The stickers are as awful as expected,  misaligned, ripped and peeling right out of the box – they actually seem to be getting worse with every release.

Optimus Prime vehicle mode

The Evolved Robot

Optimus Prime

From the front, a nice version of Optimus Prime. The illusion is broken by the large pair of legs sticking out of his back. Also, the double opening windshields for the Matrix Chamber are just plain weird.

Optimus Prime back view

The Devolved (?) Robot

Orion Pax

As a representation of Orion Pax as seen in the G1 cartoon this succeeds fairly well. However, like the evolved mode, the illusion is broken by the entire front of the truck cab jutting out from his back. On that point, if taking possession of the Matrix is the first step for Orion to evolve into a Prime, he’s going to need a friend since there’s no way he’ll be able to reach.

Orion Pax Matrix Chamber

The Matrix

Matrix of Leadership

The Matrix of Leadership continues the “nice from the front” design philosophy which appears to be the central theme with this figure.

Matrix of Leadership back

The back exposes the hollowness of the central unit which, at the very least, should allow for some light piping effects.

The Conclusion

The evolving Prime concept is an interesting one but not one that has translated well into an actual physical form, at least with this release.

Power of the Primes Tailgate

Repaint or no, I’ve been looking forward to Tailgate and now he’s here!

The Card

Tailgate card front

My version of Tailgate came with a card for the Solus Prime combination – Solus Tailgate which, ironically, seems to give him Windcharger‘s special magnetic power.

Tailgate card back

The Car

Tailgate vehicle mode

The black and white is very striking on this mold and the large Autobot symbol gives it a G1 Sideswipe feel.

Unfortunately, the color-matching (or at least gloss level) between the painted parts and the white plastic is very poor giving the car a bright white stripe across the middle.

The Robot

Tailgate robot mode

I really like how the painted chest details makes this figure look  dramatically different from Windcharger. I also like how the new head has the little panel on the back to invoke the feel of the G1 toy.

Fortunately, the color-matching issue that is so obvious in vehicle mode is barely noticeable in robot mode.

Prime Master Integration

Tailgate Prime MasterOf course there’s a Prime Master inside, can’t you see the empty armor?

As I mentioned in my Windcharger review, getting a Prime Master into the cockpit is a very awkward process which requires you to transform the entire back half of the car. The Prime Master fits in well but the windows are so dark that you cannot tell that it’s there.

The Comparisons

Tailgagte with Cliffjumper

The only physical difference between the two is the head but, as mentioned above, the deco on Tailgate does a great job of differentiating the two.

Tailgagte with Cliffjumper vehicle mode

Although the Thrilling 30 version captures the IDW look extremely well, it looks spindly next to this one which is equally good at capturing the G1 feel. PotP Tailgate will definitely replace the T30 version on my display.

Tailgate with T30 robot mode

It’s more of a draw when it comes to vehicle mode. The T30 version, despite the busy hood deco (which was omitted in the Legends release), is a good looking muscle car and holds up well with the PotP version.

Tailgate with T30 vehicle mode

Impossible Toys MC-07 Tapper

Today’s post is a retro-review: Impossible Toys MC-07 Tapper.

Tapper box

The History

Back in mid-2013, Impossible Toys announced a series of updated mini-bots. These were an updated “remold” of the original G1 Machine Man Penny-Racer inspired robot. The transformation scheme was retained but with some tweaks allowed by modern manufacturing techniques.

Tapper is a version of Tap-Out (who was a repaint of the Fun4All Cliffjumper key-chain release that was originally available at BotCon 2002) and retains the look and feel of a G1 mini-bot.

The Penny-Racer

Tapper vehicle mode(Autobot symbol sold separately)

Unlike most modern versions of the mini-bots these retained the super deformed look in vehicle mode.

The Robot

Tapper robot mode(Autobot symbol sold separately)

Again, the robot mode very reminiscent of the G1 mini-bots.

The Variations

Originally there were three molds with three versions each. Three additional heads were created to add some some more variety.

  1. MC-01 Bumble-Bug
    Their version of Bumblebee with a face based on the cartoon and The Transformers Collection Minibot Team Set re-release.
  2. MC-02 Hill Jumper
    Their version of Cliffjumper.
  3. MC-03 Bump
    Their version of Bumper (aka Bumblejumper).
    MC-03 Bump
  4. MC-04 Hub
    Their version of Hubcap which reused the MC-02 mold with a new head.
  5. MC-05 Gold-Bee
    Their version of Goldbug which reused the MC-01 mold in gold and dark purple with a new head based on the G1 Bumblebee toy.
  6. MC-06 Glypher
    Their version of Glyph (also originally available at BotCon 2002) which was a blue repaint of MC-05.
  7. MC-07 Tapper
    As mentioned above, their version of Tap-Out which reused the MC-02 mold in aqua.
  8. MC-08 Bee Bite
    Their version of Bug Bite (based on a Go-Bot who first became a Transformer when Takara re-released the Minibot Team Set repainted as Go-B0ts characters) which reused the MC-01 mold in white and light purple.
  9. MC-09 Wasper
    Their version of Wasp, from Transformers Animated, which reused the MC-03 mold in green with a black stripe and a new head.

As a final gift to their fans, Impossible Toys released individually numbered black and red repaints of their first three figures:

  1. Night-Bee
    Night-Bee
  2. Night-Jumper
    Night-Jumper
  3. Night-Bump

The Comparison

I didn’t have my Tap-Out handy so I’ve used the Bumblebee key-chain for these comparisons.

Tapper vehicle mode with Bumblebee

As you can see, aside from the size, there isn’t much difference between the two in vehicle mode.

Tapper with Bumblebee

Here you can see some of the upgrades added to this mold. The shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are all ball-jointed. There is also a hip swivel.

Tapper side view with Bumblebee

From the side you can see another of the upgrades – the head-flap slides forward so that the face is more centered on the shoulders.

Tapper dynamic pose with Bumblebee

And a dynamic pose-off between the generations.

Tapper sore winner with BumblebeeSadly, Tapper is a sore winner.

Still in Stores

I actually purchased this figure just recently and plan to put it on my desk at work. If you’re interested in picking one up, they’re still available from Big Bad Toy Store at clearance prices:

Power of the Primes Duocons

Power of the Primes Duocons

Power of the Primes, like Titans Return before it, has given us some unexpected releases in the form of Pretenders and now – the Duocons.

Duocons robot mode

Duocons vehicle mode

Roadtrap – The Card

Roadtrap card front

My version of Roadtrap came with a card for the Quintus Prime combination.

Roadtrap card back

Roadtrap – The Truck

Roadtrap vehicle mode

The front half of the truck is convincing, the rest – considerably less so being made up entirely of Roadtrap’s chest.

Roadtrap – The Robot

Roadtrap robot mode

Although the robot mode looks more convincing than the truck mode it has a few issues. The upper arms are not capable of moving backwards since they hit up against the hinge that they’re attached to. Also, the chest does not lock together as solidly as I would like and is prone to splitting.

Battleslash – The Card

Battleslash card front

My version of Battleslash came with a card for the Liege Maximo combination.

Battleslash card back

Battleslash – The Helicopter

Battleslash vehicle mode

Unfortunately, Battleslash’s helicopter mode is a bit awkward with a tiny rotor and a big gap in the nose where the two figures connect.

Battleslash – The Robot

Battleslash robot mode

Fortunately, the robot mode is much better, although it has a similar problem to Roadtrap where the shoulder joints cannot move backwards.

Battletrap

Battletrap

This is where these two Legends shine. The one flaw is the unfortunately placed rotor in the combined mode which hangs down behind the robot.

Battletrap rear view

The Conclusion

Although the individual robots were not entirely successful, I’m glad that the designers put in the extra effort to create them. A big improvement on the original G1 figure with a very solid combined mode.

360 Degree Turnaround Videos

Roadtrap

In this video, you can see Roadtrap’s dirty little secret – his very hollow back.

Battleslash

Battletrap